Thursday, March 15, 2018

My Induction Birth Story!

It's been three weeks since Benson's birth. 

T H R E E weeks. 

How is that even possible? I don't know where the time has gone. 

Well, I do know... A lot of diaper changes, breastfeeding/pumping, and laundry. (btw why do newborns go through so much clothing? Our record is four changes in one day. FOUR.) Tonight I have a few spare minutes to myself, so I thought it would be a good time to share our Birth Story... before a little person starts crying, lets dive in. 

I had my 39 week prenatal appointment on February 19th, 2018 at four pm. It was your basic baby check up... they weighed me, checked my blood pressure, took a urine sample and then I undressed so the doctor could come in and do her thing. After what felt like ages, my doctor came in and checked me. I was still sitting at 80% effaced and had made progress... 3cm dilated! I was excited that my body was headed in the right direction, but after a long discussion we decided we were going to move forward with a 39 week induction. (Our reasoning and decision making process could be an entire post on its own, so I wont get into that here.) So I signed the paperwork as she called the hospital to let them know that I would be coming in at 7am the next morning to get things started. I was excited, nervous, and so so so ready to meet our baby... but I was also struck by how sad I felt. It was officially the last night I would be pregnant, ever. I tried to soak in every kick and movement as much as I could while I tied up loose ends around the house and finished packing our hospital bags. 

I decided this time I was going to be rested and ready to go for this delivery. After all, I knew when he was coming, so I had an advantage this time.However life, as it often does, had other plans. Brandon woke me up at 11pm (an hour after I went to sleep) yelling for help because our toddler was throwing up. Cool. right? Impeccable timing. As anyone that has dealt with a sick toddler already knows, I got no sleep. I'm talking like two hours, and that wasn't straight through. When my alarm went off at five I was ready to cry, I was so tired and overwhelmed. Nevertheless, I got to the hospital with time to share and was registered quickly, put in my room and met with my RN. Right as I went to the bathroom to change into a gown, I lost my mucus plug! I wasn't surprised as I had been having contractions on  and off since the doctor checked me the day before, but it still grossed me out a little bit! 

Funnily enough, we were in the same room I had Elizabeth. The familiarity was comforting as they started my IV and hooked me up to the monitors. I was already contracting, so we decided to wait a while to start pitocin, hoping they would pick up. Unfortunately the monitors kept losing his heart rate, and contractions weren't consistently picked up either. After discussing it with the on call doctor, we decided to break my water so she could put a monitor directly on his head so things would be more accurate and consistent, and then we would start the pitocin. I was a little worried about having my water broken, but it was very quick and didn't hurt. The relief I felt after they did it was UNBELIEVABLE.

Obviously I knew once my water broke the contractions would become more intense, but I was enjoying the sweet relief while I could. At this point it was around ten am, and I was measuring at five cm. I was still up walking, rocking, and doing whatever I could to be get through each contraction. I had Brandon applying counter pressure to my back and hips, which helped SO much. They were bringing me water, ice, and other "clear" liquids and I ate ice chips and chatted with Brandon and my Mother In Law to pass the time. I would get up and walk around to try to help things along...Brandon had to follow me with a towel because I was still leaking EVERYWHERE hours later. 

Around four pm I needed to pee, and unfortunately when I got up the monitor came off his head. I called for my nurse after I was back in bed. She and another nurse came in and had to put it back on his head...and lets just say she was not as skilled as the doctor. Half way through the process the aid said "Wow, you must have a high tolerance for pain..."
Yall. I am not a violent individual... but I wanted so badly to kick her square in the face. I have never been in so much pain in my life, and my daughter was a dystocia delivery. I could barely move after that I was so uncomfortable, on top of the fact that my pitocin was now at an 11. After two hours of laying in bed feeling like I was going to be sick with every contraction, I called my nurse and asked for an epidural. It's a process, and they had a c-section scheduled, so it took a while for the anesthesiologist to get to me. She checked me right before he came in the room and said I was at a seven...and that I was probably in transition.

I sat up and made way to the edge of the bed to make room for the doctor and all his supplies and realized it felt like I was sitting on the baby's head. I literally couldn't stand to sit down, it was so intense. I waiting in a almost squatting position over the bed until they were ready to get started, and tried to be as still as possible through the procedure. Once he was finished I got back into a comfortable position in bed and realized I could still feel my feet, and could (barely) lift my legs off the bed. I couldn't feel my contractions anymore though, so the nurse didn't seem concerned. She had me lay down in an attempt to get some rest. Almost immediately I felt discomfort in my chest, so I called her back in and she sat me up and called the doctor. I ate some ice chips and by the time she made it to my room I felt fine! They think my epidural leaked and caused the pain... I'm just glad it wasn't anything more serious.

At 9:40pm I felt an odd sensation in my bottom that continued to build. When my nurse came in at ten to check me I told her something had changed, and asked to be checked. She did her thing and said "Let me set up and call the doctor, it's time to push!" I was shocked. My labor with my daughter was thirty seven hours long, so I was expecting to have a long labor this time as well. She asked me how long I pushed with my daughter, and when I told her three hours due to dystocia she calmly said she wanted to do a practice push, just to try to see if he was in the same situation. She held my leg and Brandon held the other as I grabbed the bars and pushed to the count of ten three times. Thankfully he came right down and they could see his little head! I asked if he had hair, and she went to get a mirror so I could see what was happening. I remember looking up at Brandon and seeing him look a little teary. I didn't understand why at the time, but looking back I imagine he must have felt some anxiety (and excitement) as well.

I pushed a few more times and she made me stop halfway through my last contraction to wait for the doctor. Brandon asked "Oh, you're not trying to deliver a baby tonight?!" she laughed and joked that it was above her pay grade. My doctor came in ready to go, and asked where I got my yellow hospital socks because she wanted a pair... and believe it or not, we spent my down time between pushing talking about socks.

Yeah. Socks.

Two contractions later, after pushing for just a few minutes, she asked me if I wanted my baby on my chest. Of course I said yes, pushed again, and Benson Reid was born at 10:39 pm. I remember hearing the nurse say "Well that didn't take three hours!" as I opened my eyes and saw the doctor holding him in the air to take off the monitor from his head. My first thought was how little he seemed... especially in comparison to Elizabeth. She put him on my chest and chatted with Brandon while they waited for the cord to stop pulsing. I honestly couldn't tell you what they were saying, I was so absorbed and wrapped up in the new little baby on my chest. The doctor asked Brandon if he wanted to cut the cord and he declined...but after some encouragement from myself and the doctor he took the scissors and did it! He was unable to do that with the other kids, so I think that experience made this birth a little extra special and made him feel involved in the process. For whatever reason I was (and still am) so proud I could have burst.

After some snuggles they took Benson to weigh him and check his vitals. He weighed 7 pounds, 13 ounces and was 20 inches long! SEVEN pounds! After having a nine pound baby, that seemed so small to me. After I received stitches from a first degree tear, and my epidural was taken out, they had me up and walking to the bathroom to try to pee. Things went well and I was wheeled to my postpartum room by midnight.

We were finally discharged on February 22, and I couldn't wait to get home and introduce Elizabeth to her baby brother. She wasn't super impressed, but I think I will save that story for another post. I hope you all enjoyed reading our birth story... I definitely have enjoyed sharing it. I tried to keep it brief but include all the major events! I will post Benson's one month update soon, so keep your eyes peeled!


Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Meet Benson

As you might have noticed, I took about a month off from social media. No blog posts, seldom posting to Instagram and twitter... Momma needed to unplug. Getting ready for our son to arrive and trying to keep up with my daily life at nine months pregnant was A LOT. I was exhausted and honestly didn't want the added pressures that sometimes accompanies social media. I am so glad I made that decision, but I am ready to dip my toes back in the water again.

I am so so so so over the moon happy to introduce our Son, Benson Reid. He was born at 10:39 pm on the 20th of February, weighing seven pounds 13 ounces and he was twenty inches long!  I plan to write a full birth story for you all, but in short: I was induced at 7am and it was hands down SO much better than my daughters labor. I was so afraid of being induced (mainly because of the complications that can arise) but my labor progressed beautifully. I pushed for around twenty minutes, and a lot of that was waiting. It was only three contractions with the doctor and he was born! Brandon and I are so in love, I can't even put it into words. So far he is a pretty good baby, breastfeeding is going okay (more on that later), and his big sister is still adjusting to him. When I can steal a few minutes away this weekend I will share more on our experience and how things are going... the last two weeks have flown by and I am just trying to soak in as many newborn cuddles as I can.

I am so excited to continually share my mom life journey with you all. I am so grateful for those of you who have supported me (and this blog) for so long, through all the ups and downs life brings. I gotta go, my baby is fussy and my toddler is wreaking havoc on my house. To keep up with us daily, don't forget to follow my other social media accounts! Until next time. 


Monday, January 22, 2018

Mini Style: Cat & Jack Spring Faves 2018

Cat & Jack Spring Faves '18

Toddler Girls' Skinny Jeans / Toddler Girls' Stripe Challis Skirt / Toddler Girls' Cap Sleeve Never Lose Wonder T-Shir/ Toddler Girls' 2pc Knit Denim Top and Legging Set/ Toddler Girls' Stripe One Piece Swimsuit / Toddler Girls' Easter Dress  / Toddler Girls' Rainbow Long Sleeve Wrap T-Shirt Toddler Girls' Ruffle Ice Cream Cone One Piece Swimsuit/ Toddler Girls' Faux Denim Leggings Toddler Girls' Vanna High Top Sneakers / Toddler Girls' Leggings Pants / Toddler Girls' Mel Low Top Polka Dot Sneakers / Girls' Glitter Cat Headband

I think at this point we all know I LOVE dressing little ones, the tiny little things that come out for them every season are SO fun. Babies and Toddlers tend to grow so quickly (especially height wise, in my kids cases) that I don't like to invest tons of money into clothing that will only be worn for a season or less. It seems wasteful to me, and my kids are tough on their clothes. Enter Target, my knight in shining armor. They always have cute items, but I am particularly obsessed with the Cat & Jack brand. I check their stock online regularly to see what's new, what's on sale (I mean its all affordable, but who doesn't love a od deal?!) and what's leaving the store. I logged on this weekend and found so many new cute things that I just had to share with you all. Today I am sharing toddler girl items (size 18m+ in most pieces) but I can always throw together Spring Faves for other baby/kids...let me know in the comments below!

My hands down all time favorite item Cat & Jack produces are their leggings. We have been buying them since Elizabeth was a baby and they are super durable! $5.00 for faux denim leggings, cute colors and prints? YES, please! Leggings are so quick and easy and look adorable...but they can be expensive. I love their price point and quality and they always have cute colors and prints to choose from. I also like their actual jeans, so naturally I just about died when I saw the heart detail on the sweet little babes pictured above. How could you not buy them...? That's right, you can't. They have a ton of cute options for tops that again are crazy affordable and great quality. I fell in love with the two above, but they have so many I want for Elle's closet. Someone hold me back and pray for my wallet! I decided to include two swim suites A. Because they are beyond cute and B. they tend to sell out fast. They have so many prints and styles to choose from, which is awesome. I personally am not a big fan of little ones in tiny bikini style two pieces in public, I prefer a more conservative cut and they delivered for sure. Pictured above are two regular one piece suits, but they also have tee shirt style swim tops with short and long sleeves as well.

They have so many options for shoes and accessories I couldn't pick just one pair to share, but everything I have mentioned in this post is linked at the top. I hope you all enjoyed my can bet you'll see my littles in some of these items as it warms up. Let me know your must haves for spring (any brand)! Leave a comment below!  

Friday, January 19, 2018

Currently I'm...

Oh, Hi! My goal for this little happy place in 2018 is to share several times a week... I don't really have a set schedule, but I want to make a more regular appearance in your life on a weekly basis. You know? To be totally honest I am heavily pregnant (as you know) so I don't have a ton of "things" going on. I'm not going on fabulous adventures, crazy outings with the kids, or doing a whole lot other than nesting and resting, y'all. Nesting and Resting...I think I just came up with a new motto. How fab. Anyway, Target and doctors appointments are as crazy as its getting around here for the next few weeks! Live enviously through me, It's alright. I was at a loss for what to share today when it hit me: Why not just show them what you ARE doing, and forget about what you aren't. I feel like the end of a pregnancy can be a little isolating, so here's my attempt at sharing a piece of life with you all... here we go!

Bonus pic of the babes because...welll....who doesn't love all the cute?!

Currently I'm...

Making// pizza in the oven. I've been cleaning ALL DAY (nesting and resting! haha. ok I'll stop) so when I asked the kids what they wanted, and pizza was the answer, I was ecstatic. Well, maybe ecstatic is a little bit much...but I was happy I had pizzas in the freezer that take zero time and they love it. Win, win, Folks.

Listening to// my kids playing at like five octaves higher than necessary. Whatever. They aren't killing each other or whining, so its cool. My sister tagged me in a Paramore video on Facebook today, and I've also been listening to Still Into You on repeat.

Wishing// for a trip somewhere warm, preferably a beach. With a new baby coming soon, we are postponing our annual Florida trip. I've been looking at our pictures from last spring, and it makes my heart sad. A hot bath in a jetted tub also sounds heavenly right now. Think I could get Brandon to take me back to our hotel for the weekend? Nah? Me neither.

Eating// the chocolate cake my mom surprised me with this evening. Is there anything better than chocolate cake on a Friday night? Made by your Mom with love? I don't think so.

Withholding// an urge to lock my dogs away for the night and send the kids to bed early. Momma is TIRED.

Ignoring// the basket of laundry sitting in my face that's needed to be folded for days. At least its clean, right?

Excited for// my nieces eighth birthday party tomorrow afternoon. Good food, great company, and more cake. It's going to be fabulous!

Grateful for// Brandon. He has been helping me so much lately around the house (lets face it, I can hardly bend anymore) without (much) complaint. He's been putting Elizabeth to bed every night, which has been such a big help. He put Baby Boy's bassinet together last night...tonight its the swing...he just doesn't know it yet.

Getting sidetracked by// ericafitlove on Instagram. She is everything I aspire to be, both mentally and physically. She's got an amazingly hot bod, shes funny, and posts awesome fitness related content. You definitely need to check her out! Seriously though, her stories give me life.

Dreaming about// holding my sweet little squish. I just can't wait.

Saying thank you to// my MIL. That woman surprised me with more clothing for the baby, in various sizes. I like the way she thinks.

Leaving this post because// the peace treaty between the children has ended, and I must intervene. I also want more cake. Peace!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Pregnancy Update: 34 Weeks!

Y'all, If I know one thing, it's this: this pregnancy has not been as easy as my first. I am nearly at the end of my eighth month and I am FEELING IT! Round ligament pain has me barely able to walk at times, rolling over in bed is almost impossible (and excruciating), and lately I'm barely able to lift my left leg high enough to put a shoe on. Its been real fun, folks. I honestly don't remember being this uncomfortable with Elizabeth until we hit like five or six days overdue. My bump feels so heavy, almost like I can feel the weight of him pulling downwards. I love having a bump, it's something I always envied on other pregnant women and anticipated for myself. I am trying to enjoy the bits that I can because I know it is such a brief season of life and before I know it, it will be over. Mama isn't feeling great, or sleeping great, but I am excited for whats to come in just a few weeks. 

Saturday we had a little baby moon of sorts (that included our one year old). After a few hours in the car, we stopped to see Brandon's good friend and his wife, who had twin boys in the fall. They were so sweet! Talk about sending the baby fever into overdrive, fam. After a nice visit we left with a trash bag FULL of baby clothing...a lot of them were new with tags. It's funny, because I told Brandon a week ago I wasn't sure we had enough NB/ we have way more than we could ever need. Such a blessing! We drove north for another two hours and made it to our hotel. Brandon booked us a suite with a jetted tub! This momma has never been more comfy in her life. I'm telling you I could live in that thing! It was a wonderful night. I was so caught up in the moment, just enjoying our time together I didn't take any blog worthy photos. Bummer! 

Along with the wonderful clothing we picked up, I also placed an order with Mama. You are probably already familiar with the site, but its basically just an extension of I personally prefer to shop via the app, but both work just fine! I know there are some people who swear by them, and others who don't... I plan on posting a haul/review once everything arrives. I've only had good experiences, and I'm particularly excited for the car seat/nursing cover I scored for $7.00 shipped. Most comparisons I found online were at least $30, so it's a steal in my book. 

I also had my 34 week appointment, and everything went okay. My BP was a little higher than normal, but not high enough to raise alarm. At my next appointment (36 weeks) I will switch to weekly visits.That's how you know you are very pregnant and the home stretch is in sight.... I'm so excited! I have my Group B test and first cervix check then as well... I don't expect any exciting news, but fingers crossed. You never know. Thank you all for hanging out with me, I appreciate it so much!

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Take Home Outfit Inspiration

Take Home Outfit

Preparing for a new baby can be both exciting and stressful, especially when there are SO many options available to parents. I personally love stores like Babies R Us and Buy Buy Baby... but I can easily feel overwhelmed after a few minutes of browsing .One of the most exciting purchases is the outfit you bring baby home in. They are so tiny and precious, and its usually something you put away for your child as a it needs to special!  During my daughters pregnancy I immediately fell in love with a line of clothing Carter's had released, so it made shopping for  her a breeze. This time around has been a little different! I have stalked alllllll the baby stores, websites, Etsy, and even Amazon. I found a few options that I like, so I thought it would be fun to share them with you! Maybe you will be inspired....or think of something I didn't.  Leave a comment below and let me know!

If you've been around for a while you know from past Mini Style post's that I am a huge fan of Carter's clothing for my littles. It's adorable and durable without an insane price tag. Another plus: its not hard to find. Their website, Walmart, Target.... its readily available. As you can tell from the set above, I am debating between quite a few of their items to bring our baby boy home in. Regardless of your style or aesthetic, they proably have something you will enjoy. Another brand I decided to feature is totally new to me, and I'm in LOVE. Cloud Island is new to my local Target and y'all...I'm just wondering where they've been all of my mom life. Maybe I'm behind on the trends/time, but They have so many cute items, I can't stop shopping. I've already purchased some items for Elizabeth and plan to shop for baby boy and haul it for you soon! I haven't decided what we will bring him home in yet, but you can bet it will be cute (and functional). If you would like to shop any of my options, click here.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Toddler Sickness Survival Kit: Six Items You NEED!

Toddler Sickness Survival Kit

Sickness has struck our home lately in full force. We are on the mend, praise the Lord! After putting away our "sick supplies" I thought it might be helpful if I shared some of our must haves to keep our babies comfortable while under the weather.

1. Safety 1st Forehead Thermometer : I feel like this is a no brainer! As a mom, I have like ten (not exaggerating) thermometers stashed all over the house...and I NEVER trust them. I'm always worried that the reading was inaccurate, I didn't do it right, blah blah blah. You know how crazy our minds can get when our babies are sick and we immediately go to the worst case scenario. I do, anyway. I love this thermometer because it's easy to use, almost always gives me the same reading when I double check (again, because mom anxiety) and takes he guesswork out of caring for my sweet little's when they are sick. The best part is its affordable and just a click or Target visit away! (...and who doesn't love a reason to go to Target???) 
2. Maty's Vapor Rub: This item is a new addition to my mom arsenal. If you follow me on other social media, you know we have all been terribly sick (along with the rest of the world unfortunately.) This cold/flu has been the first sickness that Elizabeth has caught that has sincerely worried obviously I was looking into anything that would help make her feel better and more comfortable. I know when I'm sick, vapor rub is my go-to. However, the menthol in most brands is NOT a good idea for little ones, especially those under two. After searching the internet I found Maty's Vapor Rub...basically relief in a jar without all the yucky unsafe stuff. After one use on Elizabeth's chest she was comfortable enough to sleep...and sleep is good for EVERYONE when babes are sick. 
3. Pedialyte Advanced Care : Sore throat? Cough? Tummy troubles? Chances are your baby isn't wanting to eat or drink, and that can get dangerous fast. I always break out some Pedialyte to make sure our kids don't get dehydrated and make a bad situation worse. You can find it in all kinds of flavors, even my pickiest child will drink it without a complaint! 
4. Boogie Wipes: Seriously I can't tell you how many times I have wiped sad little people noses lately. The things that can come out of there when they are sick is TERRIFYING, y'all. I received a pack of these wipes at my baby shower for Elizabeth and was intrigued...but thought a tissue was just as good. FTM moment for sure....these little babies are awesome! The saline in them makes it easy to get all the junk and gunk off their face without leaving them with a raw nose and tears. I LIVE by these and use them for myself if I need to wipe my nose often...they work fam. Give it a try.  
5. Infant Motrin : Controversial in some mom circles? Yes. We have discussed it with our pediatrician and feel comfortable giving Elle and the other babes relief when they need it. Its up to you, but it works for us! 
6. Humidifier: We recently invested in a new humidifier and I can't tell you how mad I am at myself. We should have done this years ago.We keep this thing on every night, it has helped us so much with our cough and just being more comfortable overall. This particular humidifier is affordable (they get super pricey) and effective.

There are several other items we love, but these are my new must haves! Do you agree? Have suggestions? Leave me a comment below and I'll be sure to check them out. Thank you so much for reading y'all. Bless. 

© Mrs. Mom Life
Maira Gall